Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:33 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

The Movie Common Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 4:34 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

The movie that rapper-actor Common, whose credits include Brown Sugar, American Gangster, Just Wright and LUV — currently playing in theaters — could watch a million times is John Landis' Coming to America.


Interview Highlights

On why he loves Coming to America

"First of all, it was just so funny, and Eddie Murphy was already one of my favorite actors because he just was so funny, and his movies were always exciting and had a cool story to them. When I see him, it's like he had a certain natural thing about him that just was great, and you don't even, like, try to pay attention to ... well, does his accent, does it really sound African or not, you were just in it from the beginning."

On how Eddie Murphy influenced him

"... His acting influenced me in a way that made me want to be a star; like it made me at some point be something in my life and want to do something great."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SMITH, HOST:

As US magazine likes to say: Celebrities, they're just like us. They watch movies like us. They like movies like us. And on this show, we ask them about the movies they never get tired of watching, the ones they know by heart, including this one from a Grammy Award-winning hip-hop star.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COMMON: Peace. This is Common, and I'm an artist and actor. And the movie I've seen a million times is "Coming to America," directed by John Landis, starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COMMON: I first saw "Coming to America" when it was released in theaters. I went to the movies with some friends of mine, and we loved it. No matter how many times I've seen it, I still laugh.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COMING TO AMERICA")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) Just let your soul glo, baby, feel it all so silky smooth...

SMITH: I would say it's about an African prince who - the way his tradition in his life is, is that he was set up to be married by his parents, and that's just the way it usually is.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COMING TO AMERICA")

PAUL BATES: (as Oha) (Singing) She's your queen to be. A queen to...

COMMON: But he decided to go find a wife that he really would love and somebody he chose to be his wife. So he left from a country in Africa to come to America to find his queen, his lady. And he actually came to New York, ironically enough, to Queens, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COMING TO AMERICA")

EDDIE MURPHY: (as Prince Akeem) Halt. Take us to Queens at once.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as Cab driver) What part of Queens you want?

MURPHY: (as Prince Akeem) Take us to the most Common part.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as Cab driver) That's easy. If one thing Queens has got a lot of, it's common parts.

COMMON: First of all, it was just funny. And Eddie Murphy was already one of my favorite actors because he just is so funny. When I see him, it's like he had a certain natural thing about him that just was great. And you don't even, like, try to pay attention to, like, well, is his accent, does it really sound African or not? You just were in it from the beginning.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COMING TO AMERICA")

MURPHY: (as Prince Akeem) Hello.

SHARI HEADLEY: (as Lisa McDowell) Hi.

MURPHY: (as Prince Akeem) I am Akeem. I have recently been placed in charge of garbage. Do you have any that requires disposal?

COMMON: You know, you can't help but love some of the barbershop scenes when Eddie Murphy first - his character first came in.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COMING TO AMERICA")

MURPHY: (as Clarence) Joe Louis, the greatest boxer that ever lived. I'll be with you boys in a minute. He was badder than Cassius Clay, he badder than Sugar Ray, he badder than - now, who that - the new boy, Mike. Mike Tyson. Look like a bulldog. He badder than him too.

COMMON: He had a tail, and he decided to get that cut. And, you know, the barbers in there who were played by Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, they were just talking, you know, about these guys from Africa, like, just kind of looking at them strange.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COMING TO AMERICA")

MURPHY: (as Clarence) Boy, what's that? Some kind of weave or something?

(as Prince Akeem) It is my natural hair. I have been growing it since birth.

(as Clarence) What kind of chemical you got in there?

(as Prince Akeem) I have put no chemicals, only juices and berries.

COMMON: Seeing somebody as great as Eddie Murphy do what he does.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COMING TO AMERICA")

MURPHY: (as Prince Akeem) When you're away through here, gone each day. To be loved, to be loved. Wow, what a feeling.

COMMON: His acting influenced me in a way that made me want to be a star.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COMING TO AMERICA")

THE SYSTEM: (Singing) I'm coming to America, America.

SMITH: That's rapper and actor Common talking about the movie that he could watch a million times, the Eddie Murphy comedy "Coming to America." Common's new film, "Luv" spelled L-U-V, is currently in theaters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COMING TO AMERICA")

SYSTEM: (Singing) I'm coming to America. Oh, say can you see, I'm coming to America. I couldn't find...

SMITH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.